Battlestar Galactica

My wife, Lisa, had heard about Battlestar Galactica from some friends and was intrigued. So, she rented the first season or two from NetFlix and started getting into it. Eventually, she got me to watch too.

Now, normally, I’m not a SciFi fan. I tend to like fantasy better. Science people seem to come in two camps: those that like SciFi because of its basis on science and those that hate it because of the liberties and non-sensical science that are often included. I fall in the second camp. I don’t mind fantasy because the rules are just made up and don’t pretend to be based on anything real. But, SciFi has the pretext of being based on science so I have a problem with Star Trek when everything seems to be solved by a “tachyon field.”

BG is different. It is SciFi and some things are obviously pushing things (the jumping of the ships, the fact that it is so hard to tell Cylons apart from humans when they have to be based on different chemistry, etc). But, it is more of a political drama with the SciFi as a vehicle. And, I have to admit, it is really good. I’m completely captivated as well. We are eagerly awaiting the start of the second half of season three.

I highly recommend the series to anyone who just likes a good story.

Snow, snow, snow!

We’ve had a lot of snow over the last month. It’s been amazing! We had maybe 8 inches the week before Christmas and then the week after we had pushing 2 feet! The photo is of our house with the farolitos we put on the roof completely buried in snow. The glow from the snow is the farolitos underneath! The roads have been treacherous and a lot of schools and work places have been closed for a few days at various times. We were pretty much snowed in the week of Christmas. But, it’s been cool. The snow was only so bad that they closed the Lab one day.

Even today we got a bit of snow, maybe 1 inch. Time do to some more shoveling!

Blasphemy finishes in Second Place

Well, the NFL-Idaho season ended about 2 weeks ago and I ended up in second place. Juggernuts just kept rolling and my team kept underperforming at the end of the year (or were they overperforming earlier?). At least the trading of Brees didn’t make any difference as, down the stretch, Vince Young played as well as Brees did.
I still have a good team going into next year, so I have a good shot at the championship next year. But, it’s again “Wait til next year.”

Now, it’s playoff time. We have a playoff in our league, but it isn’t as exciting, to me, as the regular season. The NFL playoffs, though, are going well for me so far. I like Indy and Seattle, who made it past their first round games and Indy beat the Ravens to get to the championship game. And I like San Diego too. No teams I really hate (except New England and maybe Chicago…)

My Championship for a 4th Round Pick?

There are only two weeks left in our Fantasy Football season, counting this week.  Last week was the last chance to trade players.  Each year we get to hold some players for the next year while the rest we put back into the pool for next year’s draft.  I had both Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, the two top-scoring QBs in our league.  What luck!  Brees has been hotter than hell, second to only LT in points.  So, not wanting to just give him to the pool and gaining nothing for him (Peyton, for better or worse, is my keeper), I decided to trade Brees away for a 4th round pick next year.  The following day, he has his best game of the season, lighting up the Dallas D for something like 5 TDs and over 300 yards.  Ugh!  What’s worse is that I had a fairly comfortable lead over the second-place Juggernaut for first place in the league championship.  My lead is now razor thin and if Juggernaut out performs me either of the two weeks coming up, my shot for the championship might be over.

I may have gotten too greedy, thinking I absolutely needed something for Brees (something beyond the league championship).  I may have learned a valuable lesson this year.  I still have a shot at winning, but the way my other “stars” are playing (i.e. Shaun Alexander), I may not get there.

All for want of a 4th Round Pick.

Summer Wind?

Lisa and I visited our parents over the Thanksgiving holiday. It is amazing how fast the Boise area is changing. Just driving from Boise through Caldwell via Highway 20/26 to Homedale, there are subdivisions after subdivisions. They are starting to crop up around Homedale itself, which is about the only growth the area has seen since I was born.

While driving between Boise and Homedale over and over, I decided to take one of the back roads, Ustick, which actually goes all the way between the two places (a straight shot of over 40 miles, probably, though there are stop lights). There is a new subdivision going up on Ustick just outside of Homedale, one of the many in the area. There is nothing special about that. But, as with all of these new subdivisions, this one has it’s own name and the name they gave this one is Summer Wind.

What kind of name is Summer Wind? It is so generic. So bland. What, is that the only place in the area that gets a Summer Wind? Can’t they think of anything better? And aren’t there probably a million Summer Winds out there? I know that there is an elementary school in Meridian that has the same name.

Why can’t they use some of the local history to name these places? I’m sure that the land they are building this subdivision on has some history to it. It belong to some farmer/rancher and before that probably some Native American tribes lived in the area. Why not call it something like McNally’s Bluff or the Basque Outpost or something of the sort? I mean, I’d rather live in a place called Dead Horse Point than Summer Wind.

It looks like I’m not the only one annoyed with these names. I just found this site — random subdivision name generator — which shows how banal some of these names can be. I just generated 5 names and got Cedar Point, Country Forest, Elm Island, Maple Landing and Spruce Colonial Brook. Sound pretty typical to me.

I recently heard a story on NPR on how our words for geography are starting to fade, that words that were once common place to describe locations are being lost as we start to use more generic words. And words that once meant something, like glade, dale, etc, don’t mean much anymore as they are used so often in these subdivision names. These words are used in names of subdivisions without regard to what they really mean, just how they sound.

I’m sure that this is all marketing, as most things seem to be these days. But, it also makes things so damn bland. I mean, there are already lots of cool names in the area that could be used as inspiration for new names, names such as Horseshoe Bend, Bengoechea Place, Telegraph Hill, Deadhorse Crossing, Bernard’s Bedground and Wagon Box Basin. I’m sure that the land of Summer Wind had one or more names associated with it before it became a subdivision. Why not honor that history and use those names? Names that will likely be lost forever within another generation.

Blah, blah, blah… I've got the blahs.

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